“Looks like this is our cabin,” Chris excitedly blabbered, throwing his bags down on one of the bottom bunks.
“Okay,” Jason responded. He was still staring at his Gameboy.
“Do you want the top one? Or the one next to me?”
Jason shrugged and didn’t look up from his game.
“You should take the one next to mine. That way we can play F1 together! I brought the link cables…”
“Whoa, is that Metroid II?!”
“I heard on Video & Arcade that Samus is a girl! Isn’t that weird?”
“Hey, Jason, let’s go for a walk. I want to show you something!”
“Okay.” Jason put down his backpack and his over-sized military jacket, both of which were full of Gameboy games and strategy guides. He had insisted on bringing his whole collection to camp for fear he would get bored. His parents, while worried about his social coping abilities, were convinced that camp would be good for him. After all, Chris was a good friend to him and a shoulder to lean on when he needed it. Chris had yet to witness any of Jason’s outbursts, as he was usually distracted by video games when they hung out together.
The boys walked for a while until they got to the trash cans behind the mess hall. “I’ve waited for soooo long to show this to someone! It’s so cool,” Chris blurted, almost too loudly. He took a sticky key out of his shorts pocket and opened up a secret door that led to a dark room. “C’mon in!”
“No,” Jason said, finally looking up from his game.
“C’mon!” Chris pleaded.
“No!” Jason said firmly.
Chris grabbed his best friend’s arm and yanked him toward the dark room, “Seriously! It’s so cool!”
“No no no no no no no no no no!” Jason shouted, flopping away and dropping his Gameboy onto the ground. He stopped shouting.
Chris gasped as he saw Jason’s favourite toy fall to the ground, screen down on top of a rock.
Jason screamed and dropped to his knees. He shakily picked up the Gameboy to find its screen not broken, but bent. He held it in his arms and started crying.
“J-Jason, it’s going to be okay…” Chris stepped backwards towards the open door and shut it without locking it, for fear of others seeing what they were doing.
Jason kept crying loudly. Chris had never seen him in such a state before.
“It’s just a Gameboy, Jason. You can have mine…”
Jason wasn’t listening. He was starting to hyperventilate.
Mikey peeked around the side of the garbage can. “Hey,” he said, “What’s wrong with that kid?”
“There’s nothing wrong! He just dropped his Gameboy!” Chris stuttered, trying to cover for his friend’s social awkwardness. “How long have you been standing there?” Chris asked, fearful that the younger boy had seen him use the secret tuck shop key.
“Um, not that long?” Mikey had never seen an eleven-year-old cry before. It scared him a little. “Should we get one of the leaders?”
Chris sighed. “I guess.”
Jason stopped wailing. He turned the Gameboy on and off. Miraculously, it still worked and he continued playing Metroid II.
“Whoa, it still plays?”
“Still works,” Jason replied.
“I don’t think you’re supposed to have video games…” Mikey mumbled.
“Nah, that’s for sure not a rule,” Chris boasted.
“I don’t think you’re supposed to be sneaking around back here either…”
“Who said we were sneaking?” Chris pressed.
“Well, I saw you open that door…” Mikey started.
“You saw nothing.” Chris handed Mikey a pile of gummy worms.
Mikey nodded, accepting the worms as a bribe.